How much is Sam Elliott worth?
|Date of Birth:
|August 9, 1944 (age 78)
|United States of America
|6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
“Sometimes, you get the bear. Sometimes the bear, well, it gets you.” Sam Elliott
About Sam Elliott
Sam Elliott is an American actor who is known for his deep and resonant voice, full mustache, and most notably for his lanky physique. His film career began in the late 1960 with the film The Way West and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Ever since then, he has earned nominations and won multiple awards. His long list of achievements includes two nominations for Golden Globe Awards and two for Primetime Emmy Awards, as well as one nomination for an Academy Award.
The actor became famous thanks to his outstanding performances in classics from the 20th century. He was born on August 9, 1944, in Sacramento, California. His father worked as a predator control specialist in the DOI department and his mother was a high school teacher and physical training instructor. When Sam was 13, his family moved to Portland, Oregon. Elliott spent all of his teenage years in the largest city of Oregon and graduated from the David Douglas High School in 1962.
“I grew up in Sacramento and spent a lot of time in the Saturday matinee. I just thought, ‘Wow.’ It’s that magic of sitting in a dark theater as a little kid. That was in the ’50s,” Sam Elliot has said.
After his graduation, Sam attended the University of Oregon with the aspirations to get a major in psychology and English, however, he changed his plans and eventually dropped out. After returning to Portland, he completed a two-year program at the Clark College before he became interested in acting. In the late 1960s, shortly after his father had passed away (which was the reason for him to drop out once again from the University of Oregon), the aspiring actor moved to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career.
At the height of his career Elliott is estimated to have earned an inflation-adjusted $2 million per starring role. While it took some time to find his feet as an actor, finding roles in television series like The Felony Squad (1968-1969) and Lancer (1969-1970) helped him develop his skills and get noticed. It also earned him enough to get by living and working as mostly a bit part actor, but probably while drinking some good Sunset Sarsaparilla.
His career started off as a character actor, mainly because of his appearance and style which worked for a variety of bit parts. Besides his appearance, his voice and bearing were also very well-suited to Western productions and that helped him land a lot of different roles. However at this early stage in his career his net worth is estimated to be only about $25 thousand.
It was when he began to find roles in movies that his career began to gain some upward trajectory, but it was not easy goings for a time there. In his early film roles, Elliott took part mostly in Western films and series. His film debut came in the 1967 Western The Way West, where he plays the minor role of Missouri Townsman, which to this day remains uncredited.
“I was single-minded on what I wanted to do since I was like nine or ten,” Sam Elliott has said. Believe it or not, he was only about 22 years old when he appeared in the above scene in The Way West.
The films that helped him become rich and make a name for himself were Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The Games (1970), and Frogs (1972). In 1968, the actor took part in Felony Squad, his first appearance in a television series.
A year later, Elliott landed roles in Land of the Giants (1968), The F.B.I. (TV Series 1965–1974), and Judd, for the Defense (1967). In the latter, he earned his very first television credit as he starred in “The Crystal Maze” episode, playing the role of Dan Kenyon. While he was being paid more, Elliott still only earned a net worth of about $95 thousand after tax from his appearances. Ever since the early 1970s however, he received more opportunities to star in television series and in film.
Throughout the rest of the 20th century, the actor continued to star in productions such as Fatal Beauty (1987), Road House (1989), Tombstone (1993), Gettysburg (1993), The Final Cut (1995), and The Big Lebowski (1998). Appearing next to Jeff Bridges in the The Big Lebowski movie majorly boosted his image, especially among young people at the time, and even now. At this time Sam Elliott’s earnings had increased, directors and producers liked having him in their movies in no small part because of his presence. His slow, dreary way for example in his role as ‘The Stranger’ in The Big Lebowski (1998), certainly showed us that.
Ever since the 2000s, his career was revived, and instead of Westerns, Elliott began appearing in more actions, comedies, and dramas. His net worth at the turn of the century is estimated to have been approaching $5 million and he was to double that in the next twenty years.
His most notable performances were in the movies Hulk (2003), Ghost Rider (2007), The Golden Compass (2007), Up in the Air (2009), and Grandma (2015). Even now, in his mid-70s, the actor continues to star and not only receive nominations but collect awards. One of the most recent films that he took part in, which by far is his most successful critically, was the 2018 musical drama A Star Is Born. For Elliot’s role of Bobby, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Elliot’s Total Net Worth
For more than fifty years Sam Elliot has worked as an actor. He has very few producing credits to his name and has never directed. All the same, and while often being cast in small roles, he has earned a substantial net worth and in the profession that he loves.
When he achieved a net worth of close to $5 million, in 2000, in twenty years he doubled that amount.
While that may not sound like a major achievement when one considers the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio or Tom Cruise most often earning more than twice that amount for a starring role. Adding $5 million to his net worth in twenty years is a tremendous amount of money considering who Sam Elliot is. Sam Elliot is not a big blockbuster production star, you won’t find him starring in a Michael Bay movie. He has consistently delivered the goods though and through thick and thin, he has always shown up.
He has said, “I’ve had those periods in my career when I was sitting around waiting for a phone call and had an agent who was doing the same thing rather than going out there to shake the bushes looking for a job for me. It’s a frustrating game, that’s the downside of this business – the rejection.” Yet, in 2022, Elliot has 105 acting credits to his name and a formidable net worth that anyone would be happy with when it was earned within their chosen career.
Early roles in successful series such as The Challenge (1970) and Mission: Impossible (1966), Hawaii Five-O (TV Episode 1974), and Once an Eagle (1976) are just some of the reasons why he became famous and soon after, successful. However to achieve those roles it took the grit and wherewithal to get through the hard times, too. When he started his acting career he was not earning much and so it is apparent that he leaned into his “whole cowboy thing” that he had going on and that helped earn him more parts.
At this time he also developed his voice, something that Daniel Day-Lewis has called “a deep, personal reflection of character” and considers it key to an actor’s success. To his voice, Sam Elliott has said “my voice gets recognized before anything else. It’s always gotten attention. In choruses at church and school, I started as a tenor, moved to a baritone and finally became a bass. I knew then that my voice would be my instrument. Now if I want to hide, I just keep my mouth shut.”
Despite working in more than 20 different productions throughout the 1970s, some of which remain classics, the talented Sam Elliott’s breakthrough came in 1985. His breakthrough came with the biological drama Mask (1985), in which both Elliott and Cher were co-stars.
It is tremendously difficult to break into Hollywood in any meaningful way. Elliott stood fast, developed a character type that he didn’t mind being cast in and accepted small roles. He did not carry big ideas of becoming a major lead Hollywood star, instead of trying not to get typecast, he leaned into it. He knew himself and he changed himself in ways that he could to fit roles that he knew that he could do. While “flexibility” does not often come to mind when thinking about Sam Elliot, he was indeed very flexible early in his career and did not mind letting go of certain options, to fully embrace a career path that he could get onboard with.
Sam Elliott is most easily recognized because of his thick mustache, deep voice, and rangy physique. Thanks to that, he easily landed roles as a cowboy and rancher in many Western films and series. His work in Western productions opened a lot of doors for him and soon, he began starring in all sorts of films and television series.
The talented actor has starred in more than 100 productions and besides acting and lending his voice for voiceovers, he’s also a film producer. As of 2023, Sam Elliott’s net worth is estimated to be $10 million dollars. He worked as both a producer and writer for Gone to Texas (1986), Conagher (1991), You Know My Name (1999), and The Ranch (2016-2020).
“I was never afraid of hard work.” Sam Elliott